Friendship groups

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Friendship groups

Hi everyone, my first post although I've been reading all the helpful advice - it's  good to know we're not alone! I have a 13 year old girl who in the last 2 weeks has become even more addicted to social media then ever. She has her first boyfriend - not that she told me, but my friend's daughter told her. The Insta posts from this boy and my daughter's friends use really inappropriate language calling each other hoes and **bleep**- my daughter has now also started using this kind of language in her posts. She is constantly on the phone to this boy - he never phones her though and if I ask her who she is talking to she lies. She starts screaming at me if I say anything though, and we are currently on holiday with another family. Do I wait until we get back home in a few days to have the big discussion or do it now? There are other issues too, and she had her first session with a psychologist who has suggested she has depression. I am really concerned that this situation can easily get out of control as these others encourage each other to post photos etc- I haven't found any compromising photos of my daughter yet ( probably only a matter of time)! - so act now, or wait the few days until it's just our family? Sorry for the long post, but I'm lying awake night after night worrying! 

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Re: Friendship groups

Hi @Jurluk

 

Thank you so much for your post and Welcome to ReachOut Parents!!

It's always great to hear from someone who has been reading and then decides they want to jump in and get some support for themselves too.

 

Such a tricky age! So much is going on for them, in their bodies and brains and in their peer groups and at school. It's often hard for parents and adults to fully remember what a relentless onslaught the teen years are. No wonder they all go a bit nuts.

And then, on the flip side, older adults often forget just how difficult it is to raise teenagers. Back in the old, old days teenagers were initiated into adulthood and bam, that was it. There were no 'teen years'. Just childhood and then adulthood. Not ideal either but we certainly don't have it easier.

 

My suggestion would be to start by separating out some of the issues you're having, just to see if there's some you can let go of. For example, what's your position on the boyfriend? If you decide that you're basically ok with it, that you trust her and think that she's ok to not put herself into a situation that ends up yuck for her, then you can ask her if she'd like to talk about relationships in general and let her know she's welcome to raise it whenever she wants to, and then maybe leave her to it. 

If you're ok with it.

 

Or maybe you decide that her preoccupation with social media isn't great but you get it and you could set some limits and then leave that alone.

 

It's a process that can help you work out what it is that's upsetting you, and why, so you can approach her with one specific issue rather than a general, overall view that she's not doing any of it great.

Teens really need to feel that they're managing all this really scary and overwhelming stuff well. Because they look around and they honestly believe that every other teen has this stuff sorted. And they feel like pathetic aliens.

If you come to her with a litany of concerns, it might feed that insecurity and make her defensive. Which means nobody wins.

 

How does this sound? Is it making sense?

What's your relationship like? Do you guys talk ok?

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Friendship groups

Hi @Jurluk, welcome to the forum.  Your situation sounds tricky and @Ngaio-RO has some great suggestions.  I am a mother of three boys and have no experience with raising teenage girls.  However I do know what it is like when you can't sleep night after night and your every thought is about your child and will they be OK.  This is mentally and physically draining and your health is important too.  Just remember to take time out for you so that the situation does not become so overwhelming that you can't enjoy yourself.  Please let us know what happens if you discuss this matter further with your daughter and how you continue to cope.

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Friendship groups

Hi @Jurluk, thank you for sharing your concerns. Raising teens can be quite perplexing at times, and I think @Ngaio-RO has given some great insight into teens. Remembering the things Ngaio has pointed out really helps me to have more understanding as to how my daughter sees the world and her place in it.

 

I completely understand your concerns and the reasons you're so worried. The language thing is something I find a bit confronting at times. Hoes seems to be what the girls call their girlfriends. We've just had the conversation here, as my daughter has 2 friends sleeping over tonight. They were in the kitchen getting their pizza, and were having the conversation around hoes before bro's, but then they also call each other bro, so were discussing whether they were hoes or bros to each other, neither was insulting to any of them. My input - call me bro anyday! Who wants to be called a hoe?? But I'm old and don't understand apparently! Luckily these girls do support each other and look after each other, so I have to understand it's different terminology, nothing more with this lot. 

 

With posting photos we can only teach them respect for themselves and try and get them to understand that photos can be distributed and can stay online forever. I'd suggest having that conversation with your daughter so she understands the implications and possible consequences of posting photos online. 

 

My suggestion would be to leave any conversations until you get home. Your daughter may feel shamed or embarrassed as you're on holidays with others. I find if I tell myself I have a plan of action, it makes it a little easier to put aside until a more appropriate time. Try and enjoy the last few days of your holiday and the company of your friends. 

 

It is a huge benefit of the forum, reading other people's situations and knowing we're not alone in our struggles, as our kids aren't in theirs. Thank you so much for contributing.

 

We're starting up a chat night for parents which is kicking off this Friday 6th at 8pm (EDST). We'd love you to join in if you're home by then. The link is here if you're available to join us. It's running each Friday night at the same time if you can't join us this week.